Michael “The Money Badger” Badgley came in with that “Jersey Confidence” as a rookie and not only won the kicking job for the Chargers, but went on to set multiple team records, as well.
No matter how good the rest of the roster looked on paper, it seemed like the only thing holding the Chargers back from bigger and better endeavors was the lack of a sure-fire boot. Well, it looks like fans can put an end to the praying and “I can’t watch this kick” moments. Badgley looks like he’s here to stay.
College: Miami (FL)
Years with team: 1
“Michael Badgley signed a 3 year, $1,710,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $570,000. In 2019, Badgley will earn a base salary of $570,000, while carrying a cap hit of $570,000.” - Spotrac.com
After far too many years of allowing the kicker to decide the fate of the Chargers, the team may have finally, FINALLY found their savior. Badgley was arguably the biggest breath of fresh air in 2018 as he gave the Bolts some stability at a position that saw them host a league-high seven kickers across the 2016 and 2017 season.
Badgley was ALMOST PERFECT in his first year as a NFL kicker. He went 15/16 with his only miss coming from 50+ yards. Not to mention the fact that he set the franchise record for longest made field goal at 59-freaking-yards. On extra points, he was just as efficient, missing only one of his 28 attempts after he signed with the Chargers.
Michael Badgley is good from 59 yards ‼️ pic.twitter.com/Aa6axRBfoR— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) December 9, 2018
There’s really no reason to believe that things with Badgley will head south anytime soon. However, without ignoring the last couple of years and the carousel of kickers that have come through this team, it’s hard not to tuck away a smidgen of pessimism just in case the dumpster gets set on fire again.
Not many kickers come in as a rookie have the amount of success that Badgley had. It’s almost too good to be true at this point but that doesn’t mean we can’t just take it all in stride and enjoy it while it lasts.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2019
He’s essentially a lock to make the roster at the moment. The Chargers did not bring in any competition for him and I would have been extremely surprised if they had. The punter spot is now the area with the biggest need for consistency and the Chargers took an obvious step in attempting to fix it by bringing in CFL-transplant Ty Long and former Notre Dame punter Tyler Newsome as a UDFA.
I expect more of the same from the Money Badger until he shows otherwise. Maybe not perfection, but something pretty dang close.
Fun fact: Badgley also set the team record for field goal percentage at 93.8% (minimum of 15 attempts).
Since the start of 2017:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 26, 2019
Most field goals made:
1. Robbie Gould: 72
2. Justin Tucker: 69
3. Greg Zuerlein: 65
Best field goal percentage:
1. Robbie Gould: 96.0%
2. Michael Badgley: 93.8%
3. Graham Gano: 93.5%